BusinessPresentation

4 Steps to Be the Best Podcast Guest

Best Practice Sheet for the Podcast for the I AM CEO Podcast, CEO Chat Podcast & All Podcasts

So often, I hear guests ask,  “What could I do to make this the best episode and extremely valuable for listeners?” I thought a little about it and wanted to put together some information that would help make your podcast experience a win/win/win experience for everyone. For those that might be looking to be a guest on our podcast and for those that might want to be a guest on any other podcasts. This post is for you!  

Related Post: How to Get Your Business in the News

We have 2 podcasts under our CEO Podcasts platform. The I AM CEO Podcast and the CEO Chat Podcast. We have over 1000 episodes published, and while they are both different in their layout and the interviews but they have a similar target audience–CEO’s, entrepreneurs and business owners that are looking to level up. 

I’ve also been a guest on other podcasts so you can see some of my media mentions here.

So there’s really two options that you have, you can start your own podcast and build your own “media company” and/or you can do the next best thing and contribute to someone else’s “media company”–in this case their podcast. 

The goal for this isn’t to get into the logistics or tools you can use, but I will link some podcast resources throughout this that you can read more about podcasting like maybe even starting your own podcast.

Let’s start off with some of the “basics”–first of all, what is a podcast, and why should you want to be on them?

What’s a Podcast? 

I personally use the definition of the publishing of content (audio, visual, video, written) for blogs, podcasts, and videos. It helps simplify it because I truly believe that we are seeing blurred lines as far as podcasting and content in general especially with social media (see Clubhouse). 

I’ve heard that some people refer to their podcasts when someone would consider it to be a vlog or vice versa. 

For me, I don’t want to get too much in the “weeds.” I will use the definition I usually typically use–podcast is the creation of audio content. Typically it’s done in a series and with a theme,  brand, and something to distinguish it like a name. 

For a technical definition, Oxford dictionary says a podcast is “a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”

Why should I want to be on a podcast? 

Podcasting is booming. Period. End of Story (joking…kinda). 

No, there’s a lot more to it but know that it is a booming industry. Podcast Insights estimates that’s there’s over 1.9 million shows and there’s over 47 million episodes. Over 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast and they are typically loyal, affluent and educated. 

There’s lots of niches from business to sports, to religion, cooking, cars and so much more. There’s a good chance that if there’s a topic, you might be able to connect with your audience through a podcast. Think about your target audience and your avatar and you may find out they listen to podcasts and if they’re not, you could potentially start one to be the “first” (see first mover’s advantage). 

How big the industry will grow to is arguable as there’s still some hurdles for podcasting I think like discoverability, simplicity in listening but there’s many “CEOs” and “entrepreneurs” innovating within the industry on a daily basis so stay tuned. 

Connecting with these audiences might provide some or all the following benefits: 

  • Visibility – You have the opportunity to often talk about yourself, your story, your background and your business to a completely new audience.
  • Thought Leadership – You can showcase your zone of genius and expertise. One of the benefits is you can “pound your own chest” without having to do it yourself, often the host will show you in the best light possible. 
  • Expanded Reach – You can often connect with the subscribers and members of the podcast community.
  • Potential Clients and Customers – You might be able to connect with or showcase your expertise (see above) to potential clients and customers.
  • “Free” Promotion (NOTE: Some podcasts require payment to appear) – Podcasts are usually “sweat equity” meaning you have to carve out the time to be ready and on the podcast. 
  • Networking and Connecting Opportunities – Podcast hosts might have great connections, a community or even past guests that you can connect with.
  • SEO benefits – Having high quality backlink to a podcast website means that you become a more reputable site and it could increase your rankings (See this podcast on SEO)
  • Available content – You are co-creating evergreen content (hopefully) that you can use to connect with clients or potential clients. Imagine giving all of your “secrets” and showcasing your expertise with a recording, you can then share this to potential clients and customers. You may also reshare it and repurpose it in many different ways across social media.
  • Practice – Public speaking may be a fear or a weakness but it’s huge to be able to communicate about your business effectively and well. This is practice for this. 
  • Space for thought – Especially because we have entrepreneurs and business owners on the show, we sometimes don’t create space for thought about our growth, some of the things we learn. 

Ok, I’m sold, tell me what to do. How do I become a podcast guest? 

As I promised, I wanted to let you know not just how to become a podcast guest but how to really shine. This could lead to you being on one podcast but even recommendations for other shows because podcasters network together too. 

I start out each of these points with something specific for our podcast and then some general takeaways that you can learn from that can help you out with other podcasts as well. While we have two podcasts, there’s some general takeaways we have.  

  1. Research and Pitch

For CEO Podcasts (from Gresh) – We have a daily, laser focused podcast (I AM CEO Podcast) and longer form podcast (CEO Chat Podcast) and we publish a lot of our information about the show. We also have a pretty streamlined process with questions, format and way to book the episode. However, the best and most reliable way to self nominate or recommend someone is our recommendation/nomination form. I would listen to the podcasts and then see how you can fit into the episodes. Also check out our media kit to learn more of what we are about, visit my personal site and our other types of content.   

Here’s some things you should keep in mind: 

  • You’re likely to land more gigs if you cast a wide net and reach out to the right podcasts. Think about your target market, goals and how much time you have–that should help you determine which podcast you should reach out to. 
  • Remember that everyone is listening and tuning into WIIFM–What’s In It For Me? When you are reaching out to potential podcasts, think about how you can provide value or even fit into the vision of the host(s).
  • Start by reaching out to podcasts you already listen to or head over to Apple PodcastsSpotify or Google Podcasts section where you can find podcasts related to your niche.
  • Remember don’t compromise your values over a podcast episode opportunity.
  • Also remember to let podcast hosts know how you can promote the episode.
  • If you like to curse, ask if the podcast is clean or explicit. You can often tell by listening to the episodes. 
  • Do a little homework by listening to episodes to get an idea of flow, cadence, speed, length of the episode. This will help a lot. 
  1.   Prepare

For CEO Podcasts (from Gresh) – After we review the recommendations, we usually reach out or even do cold outreach to potential guests, we try to send everything that you need in audio, written, and/or video so you are prepared for the show. Also, potential guests can set up an intro call and/or go right into booking the time for the show. It’s a pretty automated process. We get your bio, headshot, links, etc. before you book the time and you are redirected automatically after that. 

However, I often say one of the best things that you can do in life, business or even podcasts is to know thyself. If I know someone told me that it is their first podcast, I usually try to break the ice and put them at ease.  So just let me know :-). 

Here’s some things you should keep in mind: 

  • Landed a chance for an interview? Know the general vibe, the podcast’s audience, the structure, the host’s personality (including how to pronounce his/her name right) and likes/dislikes before showing up on the show.
  • See if you can get the questions beforehand
  • Take a few minutes to review questions by the host, or write some suggested topics.  Also submit any requested information such as your bio and headshot links.
  • Ask if it’ll be just audio or audio plus video.
  • Find a place free from distractions and noise.
  • Get the best quality internet connection by using an ethernet cable and/or closing applications on your computer like Dropbox, Google Drive, Antivirus, VPNs. Those can greatly impact the audio and video quality
  • Consider podcast equipment but know that it’s not always necessary
  1. The Interview

For CEO Podcasts (from Gresh) – For the podcast, I usually start by asking if the guest has any questions. It’s not as much time for connecting because I usually have back to back podcasts and that’s why I offer a connection call before and after the interview. I try to give guests everything they need to succeed. I then go through light housekeeping like seeing if they want the questions in front of them, letting them know what week the podcast will go live and if they want to do audio only or audio and video. Because I use a scheduling system, it also sends reminders a few days before and even 1 hour before our scheduled time. 

I also have a few podcast jokes I tell too that I think help break the ice. The goal is to help the guest be as comfortable as possible to succeed and that might be more or less information but you should know yourself and what works–if you don’t know that’s okay too. I often will say it’s like two friends talking at a coffee shot. Our focus for every episode is to hear a great story and/or get some resources to help us as a business community level up. In other words visibility + resources X connections = success. 

Here’s some things you should keep in mind: 

  • Be yourself. Everyone else is taken so if you were invited to be on the show know that you’ve one.  There’s a reason, try to stay true to the podcast format, structure and time but be yourself. 
  • Be human and give the juicy details, riveting stories, and bring out the real emotion. Lighten up your listeners’ mood maybe through laughter but always engage with the audience.
  • Have a plan–even if it’s just to let it happen organically. Are you promoting a book? Launching a new product or pivoting? Know what success looks like. 
  • Offer encouragement to the listeners’ pain points as well as plans on how to navigate related situations.
  • Afraid of mistakes? If you stumble over your words, feel free to make fun of yourself or ask the host if you can start again.
  • Talk like a human, not a “brand” with less salesy language (unless it’s a sales podcast) or if it’s a technical podcast, go into the weeds.
  • Have a call-to-action – this doesn’t necessarily have to be “salesy,” it could be to connect on Instagram or LinkedIn, download an ebook, or subscribe to your podcast. Check with the host though to make sure it’s okay. 
  • If you can, get an idea of when the podcast will go live. 
  1.   Promote the episode

For CEO Podcasts (from Gresh) – We provide a lot of ways that guests can share the podcast and we also promote on social media and across our site. But we prepare shareables that clients can use or use some of the media to make their own. We often go live as much as 60 days in advance so we have reminders that go out prior to the podcast and a date and time and link for when it will go live. 

Here’s some things you should keep in mind: 

  • Promote the episode when it goes live, hosts love it.
  • See if the host has any shareables/copy you can use to promote the episode
  • Schedule it on social media posts and/or email newsletters.
  • Go ahead and recommend the podcast to your network

I hope that helps with you being a podcast guest. It’s a lot of fun being a guest and host and every time I’m on either side of the microphone, I feel like I’m “cheating.” Check out our site for our podcasts—CEOPodcasts.com and don’t forget to check out our resources at Help 4 Podcasts.

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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